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House Hunting in Winter

Before the spring market blooms, there is the much-overlooked, slower winter homebuying season. For the proactive buyer, these neglected months can offer some great, hidden deals. If you are considering jumping into the spring market, take a look now at some possible winter deals.

The Advantages of Winter for Homebuyers:

Less Competition – This is the key benefit for winter shopping. With less buyers looking, attending open houses, or making offers, you are more likely to avoid multiple bid situations. Some sellers may even be willing to entertain otherwise weak offers, including those from low money down buyers and specialty loan borrowers. The worse the weather, the more likely you can escape the competition.

See the Worst – By visiting places in the winter, you will see a realistic glimpse of the neighborhood at its worst – difficult parking, no foliage, and dirty streets. This will help avoid surprises after the purchase.

The Disadvantages of Winter for Homebuyers:

Limited Inventory – More patient sellers may wait to list their properties until the busier spring season, leaving some winter shoppers with fewer choices. The low inventory may encourage some stronger buyers to hold out until more listings come online in the spring months.

Inspection Troubles – A complete home inspection may be unavailable in the winter. Extensive snow covering can prevent a home inspector from taking a good look at the roof and other exterior elements. This leaves some winter buyers with incomplete inspections and some unknown risks.

Miss the Best – Although you will get a clear picture of the neighborhood’s winter difficulties, you will miss seeing its summer character.

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